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Chicago officials investigating Parlor Pizza over wage theft and discrimination allegations

Parlor Pizza has three locations in the city.

Parlor Pizza’s Wicker Park location.
Parlor Pizza’s Wicker Park location.
Parlor Pizza’s website

The city of Chicago is investigating claims of wage theft and discrimination at Parlor Pizza and is asking employees and customers to come forward with information that could aid their probe.

“The city is working to conduct a comprehensive investigation of allegations that workers were not paid for overtime work, that employees were sexually harassed and that customers were discriminated against based on their race and/or age,” according to a statement released Tuesday by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and Commission on Human Relations.

The announcement comes after a report last week by Block Club Chicago that detailed allegations by former employees that the restaurant seated customers of color in particular areas and workers were harassed and not compensated for overtime.

The city encourages employees who weren’t properly paid to call 312-744-2211. Customers who were discriminated against are encouraged to call 312-744-4474.

Parlor Pizza has locations at 1823 W. Division St., 108 N. Green St., and 405 N. Dearborn St.

“I just don’t think the picture being painted of the restaurants is accurate in any way, shape or form,” Patrick Comer, director of operations for the Parlor Pizza told the Sun-Times.

“Anytime issues from employees or guests are brought to our attention, we listen, investigate, and if actions are needed they’re taken quickly,” Comer said.

It appears Parlor Pizza is now under multiple microscopes. The Chicago Police Department last month assisted the Illinois Department of Revenue’s criminal investigation unit in a probe of the pizza chain, a police spokeswoman said, referring other questions to the state agency.

Maura Kownacki, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Revenue, emailed a statement that read: “In the event of potential violations of tax laws and related offenses, our Bureau of Criminal Investigations will conduct an investigation and if warranted, refer the matter to law enforcement authorities for prosecution. The Illinois Department of Revenue cannot comment on ongoing investigations, however, or even acknowledge their existence due to confidentiality provisions in the tax laws.”

Comer said Parlor Pizza is cooperating with the Department of Revenue but declined to get into specifics.